This past week has been rough. Work, home, scheduling, classes, weather, etc. There was little that went well. When you feel that way, sometimes you forget to look for those little shining moments, or even recognize them when they are right in front of you. Darkness and frustration tend to outshine the shining, no matter how small or obvious they are. But when you see them, or they are brought to your attention, I feel we need to pay it forward in some way.
My daughter and her girlfriend moved in with me in June. It hasn’t been an easy adjustment but for the most part, we have all enjoyed living together and sharing things with each other. As a mom, I couldn’t be more happy to have my daughter home after watching her struggle from afar for so long. She brought with her an amazing young woman who loves my daughter. Actually worships my daughter. A mother couldn’t ask for more than that. I did get more though. She is bright, funny, has a huge heart, and as tough as she would like to be perceived, is one of the most sensitive people I have ever met.
The idle conversation usually leads to the good stuff.
Late this week, she nervously came to me and sat down to chat. I always know when something is up because they sit down and make idle conversation. The intent to ask a difficult question is always obvious, but it is adorable. She had her laptop with her. She began explaining that after seeing me write for all my multiple reasons, she decided to start writing about her life, her loves, and what has brought her to where she is in her life now. More importantly, why she loves my daughter so much. She asked me to read what she had written and give her feedback.
Now, firstly, I am no editor! I am actually nervous every time I hit publish and I’ve read what I have written 20 times. I still find errors, typos, and stupid mistakes. I myself, need an editor on retainer. So, the irony of being asked to read someone else’s work was strong. There was also a level of honor that I felt. She was trusting me with her innermost thoughts. She was trusting me to read about her life before I knew her and things I may not approve of (doubtful, but I understand the fear).
Editing isn’t easy, especially when you know the author.
I read her story. It wasn’t long, it was only at the very beginning, but it was beautiful. Yes, there were things that I saw but they weren’t important at this stage in her writing. We ran the spell checker and the grammar check in word. I helped her separate a few paragraphs differently and that was it. I handed the laptop back to her and simply said, keep writing. We will work on the style and such later. Just keep writing.
Later, my daughter told me that I had encouraged writing. They know about my blog, what I write about, how I write about things. They were proud of me, inspired by me, encouraged by my courage. A half a box of tissues later, I realized what I have always known. People are always watching how you handle situations. Sometimes, the people that pay attention aren’t the ones that have your best interest in mind. Sometimes, the people watching and paying attention are the ones you want to impress. The ones you want to be proud of you. This was one of those times.
For all of us, just keep writing!